Thursday, October 27, 2011

Becoming Your Own Champion

What makes a champion a champion? We’ve all seen the sports world with the winning person/team. The winning Olympic Champion(s) stand on the podium and receive their medal and see their nation’s flag and hear their national anthem. Race drivers drink milk. Football teams hold up a trophy. Baseball teams run out on the mound and pound each other on the back.

Olympic Medal Stand
Michael Steele/Allsport/Getty Images

That one moment in many instances takes a life time to achieve. It is no accident they are standing on that podium. Pick your favorite winner. What did they do to get their? There is a common thread through all of these champions.

Dedication and hard work. And the main ingredient? A vision, a goal.
Goals are the tools of champions. I’ve also heard it said that champions are willing to do those things others are not willing to do.

So there are big goals and smaller goals. Long range goals need short term goals. Goals are the tools you need to master your life.

Alan Lakein put it this way, “Time = Life. Therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.”

I’ll state the obvious: writers want to publish a book. A runner wants to win a marathon. A business owner wants to grow during an economic downturn. How is it done?

By looking at where you want to be and taking stock of where you are. You can’t publish a book, if it isn’t written. You can’t in a marathon if you sit on the sofa eating potato chips while watching TV. The business does not run itself; the owner has to have a vision and a good work ethic.

So goals look like this.

I have a published book (October 2013) – The goal.

I have an agent (October 2012) – Mid range goal.

I have a winning query letter (June 2012)

I have a fantastic synopsis (June 2012)

I have a final draft (May 2012)

I will write x of words today – daily goal.

I have a fantastic outline, or a great idea, I know my characters. Etc.
It is a long process, but one many writers have taken, and have agreed was well worth pursuing.

Writing is a slow process. A solo process. A lonely process. Once the book is out there and is selling you’ve won. However, unlike the sports folks, you won’t stand on a podium and receive a medal amongst all the fanfare. But the feeling will be the same.

So manage your time. Set goals and work towards them. When that happens this formula will work for you: Time = Life. Therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life. Become the champion you wish to become.

What goals do you need to set? Where are you in your publishing journey? What are you doing daily to reach your goal?


Anonymous said...

Great post, Dean. We can all use a reminder now and again on how goals need to be concrete and attainable. So often, we have a vague idea of what we want and no real plan of action on how to get there.


Dean C. Rich said...

You're welcome.

I think a lot of us just muddle our way through life and just "get through the day". Achieving things is no accident. Someone once said if you see a man on top of a mountain, he didn't fall their.

Good luck with your goals.

Unknown said...

Very cool, and insightful as always.

My big problem about this is I tend to deal a lot with self-doubt: just because I THINK I have a winning synopsis doesn't mean I really do. Just because I spam every agent with my work doesn't mean it's truly ready to be looked at by agents. But you're absolutely right-- the things I can do is look for beta editors, edit and rework like the wind, and put forth my best foot so that the only thing standing between myself and the victory are things beyond my control.

As I said, very insightful. The best posts are the ones that make us think. :)

Dean C. Rich said...

Sounds like you've found your key with beta editors and readers. So when you go forth to query and sell your work, you know you are putting out your best work.

Keep it up, you can do it. Most of what we accomplish is due to our own attitudes and determination. That is what puts a champion on the podium.